Friday, December 25, 2009

The train to Chandigarh

Date: 25th December
Occasion: Christmas
Mission: to celebrate the Christmas in Chandigarh
Modus Operandi: to board the train from Old Delhi Railway station at 8’O clock.

Everything was going smooth. The previous day, I gathered everything I could ever need for our trip to Shimla via Chandigarh. But did someone say that there is some snag in the plan? Yes, train at 8’O clock, which means, I had to get up as early as 5:30 in the morning; very easy for you humans, but an uphill task for us nocturnal species.

I guess the 1st mantra of management is ‘Prioritize’ which, unfortunately, I never learned. Instead of packing my bags and sleeping early, I hooked on to my lappy. I am telling you, this facebook , Orkut, Gtalk and Gmail are highly addictive; once logged in it takes oodles of courage to log out. However, these are the normal addictive drugs but the ‘baap’ of all of them, the online-cocain, is Blogging (at least for me). 
I was in a trance, thanks to this drug and never realized that it was 2’O clock in the morning. Now I started packing my bags but was too confused and sleepy and after some initial spurts, I just left it and thought it would all be done in the morning (as if Santa would come in the night to pack my bags). I slept at 3:15 and as I had requested to my friend loki; he called me up at 5:30 in the morning. Hardly any sleep. I should have got up but what to do when someone himself isn’t ready to leave a cozy and warm blanket. I get up at 6:05, finally, but it was too late then, I guess (and now I know, as well). At 6:55, I receive a call from loki that he is boarding the metro, but I was hardly ready by then, and I am not talking about the bag-packing here.
I was 7:30 and I was only at the metro station near my place. The hopes had almost died but showing exemplary ‘never say die’ attitude I was constantly communicating with my friends that I will reach there but chilled water was poured in the boiling oil of my enthusiasm and optimism when the metro stopped, twice, in between its otherwise smooth journey for some unknown reasons, she said “there will be a ‘short’ delay in the journey, the inconvenience is regretted”. My crying heart was not ready to take that consolation. When I reached CP to change the metro for Chandni chowk, it was already 8:07. I was in the metro and I got a call; it was loki. He inform me that the train is still waiting for me (he he) at the platform. It was a real energizer, more potent than Glucon-D! I felt like barging into the driver’s chamber and give him a slap on the back of his neck to drive faster. I finally reached the chandni chowk station and I rushed out, the way a racehorse plunges out of its box or whatever it’s called. The train was still at the platform. I was on the stairs going towards the old Delhi station when finally I received the heartbreaking news which I dreaded the most. The train woke up from its snooze and with every passing moment, the train accelerated, while my legs kept on losing the momentum and energy till I reached a standstill. I dropped my bag and just kept staring at the departing metro. I just couldn’t think of what to do now. I surely didn’t want to go to Chandigarh in a bus all alone. And the most frustrating part was, I couldn’t blame anybody for it. God tried his best because the train was supposed to leave at 8 but it stopped after starting once and moving some 100-200 m, as told by my friend but even god can extend his help to some extent only. But mine was a case of gross carelessness and casual approach.
Like a dethroned king, I came back to the same station from where I started this misadventure where a fine of Rs 10 was waiting for me. Yani, khaya piya kuch nahin, gilas toda, 12 anna.
There have been many instances in my life where I have been able to make things possible at the eleventh hour; I guess I am still not out of those hallucinations and hence paying a heavy price (I am not taking of the train ticket or metro fare here). And to be very honest, this was not the first eye opener but I guess my eyelids are quite heavy which keeps dropping down!! I just hope that this incident is the final episode of a very long, irritating and depressing soap opera and I learn something form it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advice to the youth

hi friends
well, it's not always advisable to do an emotional atyachar on you with my crazy life-instances in tuti-futi english; so this time I thought to let you enjoy a real treat of humor from non other than the undisputed king of humor and witticism, Mark Twain. Read the article "Advice to youth" here..

my life: Youth Nexus – Part 1

my life: Youth Nexus – Part 1

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Youth Nexus – Part 1

Hi friends,

It's said that man is a social animal but I guess the 'social' part is missing in me and hence it can be concluded that I am more of an 'Animal' than a human being. Somewhere down the line, I knew, I have to pay the price of being not a part of a group, a set of people I can call my own and I guess, today was the day when I realized it in a bitter way, when I asked, not less then 12 people, to accompany me to Youth Nexus 09 at North Campus and all of them declined unanimously, except Amit who showed some interest but it was too late then, for him to convert that feeble interest in boiling zeal.
But I was sure of one thing; I didn't want to turn a deaf ear to my heart's craving just because there's no friend to accompany me. I thought it would still be loads of fun. I know, it's bullshit for most of you to even think on those lines but I guess, I am a bull (animal) and I do a lot of shitty things!! Also, I didn't want to lose a wonderful opportunity to enjoy mind-blowing (and eardrum shattering as well) music, meet some crazy and fun loving people ( 'Bird watching' goes without saying) and collect enough masala to write a blog (hehe).
So, after an unsuccessful attempt to convince Amit, I picked my Activa and zoomed to my flat. Earlier I thought to park it at the metro station to save time but later changed my mind. I went to my flat, became a bit informal, googled the exact location of the fest and left for the station. unfortunately, Murphy's Law worked this time and the metro eluded me when I was about to catch the escalators for the platform and the next one came after a good 15 min; it felt like 15 hours to me b'coz I was running short of time. It was already 7 and the official time of the fest was till 8 PM (hey, I am not doing a surrogate Ad for the very famous daru here).
After much hustle and bustle, I reached the vishvavidyalaya metro station. From there I took a bus for the venue (I googled it after all, so that I don't have to depend on the auto/rikshaw walas). In the bus I met with the General secretary of Zakir hussain college who helped me to get to the place through a short-cut  (I bet, even google wouldn't be knowing that !!) If my memory serves me right, I explore that place (shakti nagar) for the first time (and I am a delhite!!).
Now, I could hear the electric guitars and see the dancing lights in the sky. I was close and the next thing I can recall is, 'Them Clones' performing on a much larger and sexier stage, with much better sound Quality and a fantastic laser light show in the backdrop, adding zing to their performance. The electric guitar's sound is very intoxicating indeed. It hypnotizes you, if I can put it that way and the rest it automatic. You start feeling the vibe and the mood starts building. The next band was, the very Indian but truly international, Parikrama. It's a band which I can compare with salad (lolz); it's fabulous when consumed as a whole but the ingredients still maintain their individuality and are unique in their own way. The vocalist, lead guitarist, bass guitarist, violinist and everyone comes in the front to give a taste of their raw talent and capabilities (except drummer and keyboard player of course!). I really envy the lead guitarist for his guitar skills and his incredibly long hair! But unfortunately, their performance was ephemeral; hardly 3-4 songs and they didn't even obliged the crowd's and the emcee's request of 'one last song'.
But it wasn't something to mull upon because a lot of thing including 'Fashion show', DJ Sumit and RDB's live performance was scheduled for the next day i.e 19th dec.
But unlike most of the North Campus fests, there were hardly any girls (the concept of HOT or NOT comes only later!) in that ground which was as smooth as sensex! Nevertheless, I came to know that Kailash kher is coming to SRCC on 22nd during conversation with few SRCC guys over there.
U think it's over? Hey, the fun has just begun, at least for me. When I came out of the ground, I met with the guys from my college, ABS, Amity; viz. Jaggi, Aashish, Puneet, Gagan and surender, and together we went to CP to have some food and loads of fun. Let me introduce jaggi to you. well, he's been placed with TVS with a whopping package (for Amity standards) of 6 Lacs and one more identification which he earned that day was, his phone got stolen in the metro and he was quite happy about it except some fleeting moments of afsos.
Although at our age, guys hardly have any liking for milk, but we were different and I guess the difference paid coz the milk was fantastic, bole to ekdum faad. Next we went to Subway and then we barged into KFC. The ambience of KFC, I must say, was fantabulous; I just kept looking at it to get ideas and inspiration, in case I get into retailing.
It was already 10.30 by then and the danger of missing the last metro started creeping in so we decided to get down to the metro station to avoid any further hassles. At the metro station, I noticed a change which was heartwarming. Dilli ke log insaan ban gaye hai! Ya, they were standing in a queue at the corners of the stainless-steel railings, making way for the passengers to get down first. The important word is ‘first’, it is an unprecedented gesture if dilliwalas to let anyone get down first and  control the irresistible urge of grabbing that ‘peacock throne’ which is lying vacant in front of the eyes but only for a billionth of a second and if he misses that once in a travel-time opportunity he has to keep standing in one of the stance of ‘kuchchipudi’ dance with one hand up (holding the handle) and the other at the back (prob. Holding the pole) and with only one leg bearing the entire weight of the body while the other one relaxing with the knee protruded and the heel raised. Fortunately, Most of us got the seats except few who preferred standing and with plans to meet the next day as well, I bid adieu to all my friends.
I believe most of us have seen the video of steve jobs’ speech at Stanford in 05. In his address, he said that, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future…. Because believing that the dots will connect will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference”. By ‘dots’ he meant the decisions you take in life.
What he said was relating to career, to life. I am a lesser mortal and so, I associate those deep words with the outrageous and sometimes, crazy things I do. But anyhow, I followed my heart and that had made all the difference.
Thank you
(and ya, you can still catch the fun because nothing is lost yet. Make your own plans or give me a buzz. And I would appreciate your comments on the blog)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pandora's Box of Pandara road

So, we gracefully moved out of that beautiful black hole, which, if we had stayed any longer, would have sucked all the ‘gandhijis’ we had.
-----------rest of the story runs in flashback (just like a hindi movie) -----------------
We were a group of ten friends, meeting first time in Delhi after a hilarious and adventurous time in Dehradun, where we spent 5 unforgettable days of our life together, during the SSB interviews for selection in the Indian Air Force. And, one of our gang members, Ravi, did made the final cut notwithstanding the cutthroat competition. Therefore, it was our prerogative now, to have a party to celebrate his success. He agreed to it but he wanted to give it in delhi; only later we came to know that his birthday was impending too, smart chap!
So on his Birthday (I don't know the exact day though) we all gathered at his house in Lodhi Colony. We were all brainstorming about the various options we had in the nearby area to have a good lunch and spend the rest of the day doing bhag*****, when suddenly, one of my friend, Rahul, suggested that pandara road has some really cool restaurants. Most of us really had no idea of Pandara road and as far as the quality of the restaurants over there goes, we were as expert as Katrina Kaif in Acting! And therefore we blindly trusted what Rahul said and like a pack of wild dogs, we all started to march towards Pandara Road, probably sniffing the aroma emanating from the swanky restaurants of that road. In CP and the adjoining VVIP area, you happen to see so many big names engraved or embossed on silver or golden colored name plates that you really don't mind walking.
With tottering legs, we finally reached Pandara Road. We chose to give the honor of our auspicious presence to the restaurant with the name "Gulati's", again on rahul's ‘expert advice’. The Ambience of "Gulati's", I must say,  was stupendous and very calming, perfect to have a late night dinner with your girlfriend but strictly not for a gang of 10 rowdy lads for whom finesse is something they least bother and would never-ever like to pay to enjoy. While absorbing the cool and refreshing atmosphere as much as we could by taking a 360 degree view of the plush and brightly lit restaurant, we grabbed a table, large enough for all of us to sit. We were smiling, giggling, laughing and twittering (we were not tweeting from our mobiles, in case you thought so!!). In fact we were the loudest in the gathering, even louder than the soft music which was making the ambience even more conducive to calmness before we barged in! But sadly, the waiters couldn't tolerate our happiness and so they slapped us with the menu cards with utmost courtesy. Well, actually they were not Menu cards, they were Pandora’s Box; the moment we opened them, all the miseries and evils flew out to afflict us. We were blown away. We couldn't have imagined those exorbitant prices in the wildest of our dreams; moreover we had the impression that “gulati’s” is reasonably priced, courtesy, Rahul. We were looking at each other with a weird smile and then looking back in the menu, hoping to stumble upon a preparation which would prove to be an island of hope in the ocean of despair. But, alas! All our efforts were to no avail. It was dead sure that if all the ‘hungry lions’ decide to feast over there in the same ravaging fashion as any real African lion would, the birthday boy would surely lament coming to pandara road and curse his own birthday.
But then a very strange thing happened. Ankit, one of the friends, got a call on his cell. He picked it in a hurry and moved out of the restaurant. What a smooth finisher! Oh, another call, this time it was ankur’s turn. Interestingly, their phones didn’t ring and I doubt that anyone would keep his phone in silent mode in a restaurant; we were not there for a corporate meet for god’s sake. Soon it was clear that it was just a trick to move out of the ‘dungeon’, never to return. The series of calls didn’t end there only; two more calls came in succession which inevitably culminated in the departure of the proud owner of the phone. I guess, even the mobile signals were shying from entering the “gulati’s”, which is why they had to move out! Through the transparent door we could see them smoking and laughing at us hysterically. We six were probably bitten by the ‘courtesy’ bug and just couldn’t stand up without ordering anything after sitting fro so long on their beautiful and cushy chairs and raising their expectations sky high. To save the blushes, we hesitantly called upon a waiter and ordered 5 soft drinks and 1 juice. This was the least priced item we could find in that richly decorated and glazed menu card. Even this meager order was above Rs 600, if I am not wrong. Ravi’s entire birthday budget would have been ransacked by ‘gulatiji’ (because lunch was still due, cold drinks don’t equate to shahi paneer and laccha parantha afterall), if rahul’s conscience wouldn’t have risen out of a deep slumber. He offered to pay for the order with his credit card because he was the only working guy among us. I guess his act was a sort of ‘pashchataap’ for bringing us in that 5 star restaurant (from our standards, it was) and putting the b’day boy in a tight spot. But in the end, we all shared the bill among us, 100 Rs each, fine. We enjoyed the drink till the last sip. That was the best coke or whatever I ever had. The satisfaction which I received from it trickled deep down my bones (although it’s said that cold drinks are harmful for bones!). I smirked and so did others. We nodded in unison, a sign that it was time to move out; after all, our four friends were eagerly waiting to lay ‘red carpets’ for us. They had simply gone crazy, laughing madly on us for keeping sitting inside and not doing something creative to get out. We countered them with how great the atmosphere was inside and how many beautiful faces we saw inside which, obviously, they missed. But whatever it was, we were all having the time of our life and a laugh of our lifetime. And ya, if you are thinking, what happened to the lunch, so lemme tell you, we had an amazing dinner at a desi hotel in CP which didn’t have very pleasing ambience but very tasty food. Yummy!!!
You see, embarrassing moments have two good things about them. You can always laugh about them later and ya, you can write a blog about it.